Everyone deserves a second chance. This October 17, celebrate National Mulligan Day and enjoy the comfort in knowing that if at first you don’t succeed, you’ll get another crack at it. Though often associated with getting a “freebie” after a less than desirable golf shot, National Mulligan Day applies to any undertaking in which you would care for a “do-over.” Mulligans are for those with the determination to fight through the adversity of the mishaps of life. Let’s be honest — we all need a mulligan from time to time.
National Mulligan Day timeline
- July 1985
David Mulligan confirmed his reputation
In July of 1985, journalist Don Mackintosh interviewed David Mulligan for a column, “Around the Sport Circuit," where David confirmed stories about his “additional shots."
The USGA approves
The United States Golf Association claims that the term first achieved widespread use.
Mulligan theory #1
Some golf historians give credit to John A. “Buddy” Mulligan, a locker room attendant at
Essex Fells C.C., New Jersey for the word.
Mulligan theory #2
David Bernard Mulligan, a Canadian golfer and one-time manager of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, would often ask for a second shot off the first tee, coining the term “mulligan."
Mulligan theory #3
Yet another version of the truth about the origin of the term “mulligan” states that it comes from Thomas Mulligan, a minor Anglo-Irish aristocrat and passionate golfer.
National Mulligan Day Activities
Play a round of "mulligan" golf
The term “mulligan” is originally associated with golf, so why not use it on a course. Gather up some friends, have some laughs, and enjoy a round of golf where you only keep score with the shots you like.
Have a leftover party
Enjoy round two of your previous meals and taste just how good a “second helping” can be.
Try something new, and master it
Though it may take some time to master, think about how amazed friends will be when you can show off your new skill in public.
5 Inspiring Second Chance Quotes
David Millar (professional cyclist)
“People for make mistakes and I think they should be punished. But they should also be forgiven and given the opportunity for a second chance. We are human beings.”
Pete Rose (retired professional baseball player)
“If someone is gracious to give me a second chance, I won’t need a third.”
Dave Wilson (author)
"Sometimes life gives you a second chance, or even two! Not always, but sometimes. It's what you do with those second chances that counts."
Marc Platt (producer)
“When a writer gets a second chance to look back on something, it’s a great opportunity to say, ‘Hey, this is really good, but we can do it even better.’”
Tia Mowry (actress)
“Having a second chance makes you want to work even harder.”
Why We Love National Mulligan Day
Second chances are for everyone
Although we all want to get things right on our first attempt, immediate success is rare. Embrace your human faults, and rather than admit failure, take a deep breath and try again to get it right.
Everyone does it
Realistically, we not only need more than one try to achieve our goals, we often surpass them with practice. No one, ever, has done everything in their lives perfectly on their first try. So don’t fret: The “try, try again” club is a big one.
It’s a sign of friendship
A mulligan, more than anything, is accepted cheating. Mulligans are not secretive or sneaky. They're a blatant disregard for the rules that a competitor happily ignores — with the understanding that they may ask for the same kindness later.